Changes I'd like to see at local resorts
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wgo
March 5, 2009
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,368 posts
The following is a wish list of improvements for some of our local resorts. I have tried to keep the list to stuff that I'm guessing could in principle be done with enough time and money, so nothing along the lines of, "I wish Wintergreen was 3000 ft tall, got 300 inches of snow a year and was super-steep". This list also ignores any political or logistical reasons that may make some of these things very difficult or impossible to do. So here we go:

Massanutten: Turn the area under the lift to Diamond Jim and Paradice into a ski trail (clear rocks, install snowmaking).

Wintergreen: Install lights for night skiing in the Highlands. Be more proactive in letting moguls form on upper wild turkey.

Snowshoe: More glades. In particular the trees between the two black runs in Silver Creek could be turned into a glade.

Timberline: Official re-opening of the Cherry Bowl glades (yeah, I know it's still skiable if you are in the know, but still).

Canaan Valley: More snowmaking. Gotta weather the inevitable Mid-Atlantic mid-winter thaw!

Blue Knob: Some TLC for the advanced glades, esp. the East Wall. Snowmaking on Lower Rt. 66.

Whitegrass: Do not change a thing. Why mess with perfection?

Anyone else have any ideas?
fishnski
March 5, 2009
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
How bout padding the lift at TL?..

Let me know if & when we can take this thread & dream BIG...future type stuff...Letting the imagine run wild...next year is 2010 dang it!....Think about what man could do to shape & make our little big Mountains better...can we get some Ski Stimulus president Obama?!!..
JimK - DCSki Columnist
March 5, 2009
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,728 posts
Good list.
Funny you should mention that lift line at Massanutten. There was a strong temptation to poach it last Monday after 7" fresh. It used to be much more cluttered with boulders and logs, but in recent years they have cleaned it up and it looks smooth and grassy under there, like a highway compared to some of the designated runs at Blue Knob. There is some very nice looking terrain, including some steep evergreen hillsides to the lookers right of that chair too. All this would need snowmaking and a bridge to get across creek.

How about a few T-bars to link T-line with Whitegrass and CV? The freeheelers would say blasphemy, but the rest of us would love it.

Give us a Snowshoe Western territory-like addition at Wintergreen, two trails all the way to the valley floor??

And of course, open Laurel Mtn.

plus: extend chairlift at The Homestead all the way to ridgeline above current slopes, might give them a 1200 vertical!?!
kwillg6
March 5, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
ok, I'll bite.
T-line- Blow snow like you used to under the orange chair on upper draft and grow the whales again on OTW. Brush out Cherry bowl again as was earlier suggested and PARK THE GROOMERS on a POW POW day!!!!!!!! mad

Canaan- Just more snowmaking...everywhere!
Wintergreen- How about some decent parking where you don't have to walk halfway up the mountain.

Snowshoe- Get you act together on the western territory so it's open earlier and all season. Permit off piste skiing too.
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David
March 5, 2009
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Originally Posted By: kwillg6
PARK THE GROOMERS on a POW POW day!!!!!!!! mad


AMEN to that one Reverend!! That's my BIGGEST (pretty much only) complaint about Timberline!!
KeithT
March 5, 2009
Member since 11/17/2008 🔗
383 posts
Snowmaking and more of it. This is a classic year where the snow making committment of the resort shows. Whitetail has been 100% open since MLK and perhaps longer (I think) with its crappy exposure and low elevation. While BK, TL and CV (all 2,000 feet higher) have had significant trail closures for weeks.
TomH
March 5, 2009
Member since 07/6/2005 🔗
375 posts
T-Line could make a few adjustments to their lifts that would go a long way to reducing the number of times the lifts stop.

1) Lower Lift - flatten out the holding area at the bottom so beginners aren't on a downhill as they enter the loading area.

2) Top Lift - at bottom build up the loading area so kids can easily reach the chair. Currently, the chairs are too high and kids have to be lifted up to the chair. At the top the unloading area is flat or even slightly uphill. Making the ramp so people unload to a downhill grade would eliminate a bunch of wipeouts on unloading.

On the up side I think T-Line did a great job getting snow down on the slopes this year.
tskski
March 5, 2009
Member since 03/13/2003 🔗
117 posts
I was at Massanutten Wednesday. Somebody had poached the liftline for Diamond Jim but there wasn't 7" of snow. More like 2 or 3. Hope they were using "rock" skis. He(She) skied from top to bottom.
wgo
March 5, 2009
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,368 posts
Originally Posted By: kwillg6
ok, I'll bite.
PARK THE GROOMERS on a POW POW day!!!!!!!! mad


This seems to be an issue at many mid-atlantic resorts. I remember being really irritated one of my first winters out here when I headed to Wintergreen after a big storm and found everything groomed side-to-side.
wgo
March 5, 2009
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,368 posts
Originally Posted By: tskski
I was at Massanutten Wednesday. Somebody had poached the liftline for Diamond Jim but there wasn't 7" of snow. More like 2 or 3. Hope they were using "rock" skis. He(She) skied from top to bottom.


Yeah,

I was a Massanutten wednesday night and I saw those tracks. If they weren't rock skis then they are now!

JimK's point about the state of the liftline is well taken - it's probably in as good as shape as some of the BK trails. Of course BK gets 120 inches of snow a year while Massanutten is lucky to get 20, hence the need for snowmaking.
kwillg6
March 6, 2009
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,034 posts
Most areas hesitate from blowing snow under the lifts due to the ice build-up on the chairs and cables. I think this is t-lines issue. Speaking of great lift-line runs.... anybody ski under the triple at canaan after a pow pow dump? SWEET! Another great lift line run used to be under the ballhooter lift when it was a triple. Just don't get caught! wink After they installed the high speed, it took away some of the features that were fun after a big dump, mainly the "old man ballhooter" jump, er... uh... cliff. frown Maybe we should start another thread on this issue alone. (sorry about the hy-jack blush)
gizmosnow
March 8, 2009
Member since 10/6/2005 🔗
269 posts
As an HV homeowner and season pass holder, I'd like to see HV open the new Outback slopes for next season. While delay of the new lodge/condos may well be justified due to the economy, I'm hoping that they see the new slopes as a necessary investment in building the skier base (to support future condo sales). Even if they are hesitant to invest in a new lift, I wonder if it is feasible and economically viable to install the old 2-man (lightning) lifts to support the new slopes temporarily?
MadMonk
March 8, 2009
Member since 12/27/2004 🔗
235 posts
Snowshoe - More aggressive snowmaking. Seriously build up rediculous size bases so the last few weeks aren't so hit and miss.

Expand the Western Territory and add/improve snowmaking over ther.

Landscape the heck out of Skidder so that it's a legit beginners slope. I've probably skied at thirty or so different areas and I can't remember another one that puts beginners on a double fall line.

White Tail - Nothing big but if you're going to tout an upcoming virtual video tour on your website (originally due in December) then please put the dumb thing up.
comprex
March 8, 2009
Member since 04/11/2003 🔗
1,326 posts
Whitetail - drainage off the off loading ramps.
casey
March 8, 2009
Member since 11/21/2005 🔗
37 posts
Hv needs to continue their improvement of the resort, particulary tne outback slopes and hotel. What better time than now to take advantage of lower costs and to be ready to sell property when the economy improves. They can't stop now for all their work and investment would be for nothing.
Laurel Hill Crazie - DCSki Supporter
March 8, 2009
Member since 08/16/2004 🔗
1,861 posts
Seven Springs should make more snow or open more terrain for the Gunnar Six (North Face) area. Since opening the six, Boulder and Yodeler get icy fast as does Giant Steps and Gunnar. They need to open more terrain to handle the increased traffic. I don't think increased base depth would help much but might be worth a try. They should follow up on their bold pronouncements to open Laurel and show the skeptics wrong.

Hidden Valley has made great strides to improve their skiing but the fact remains; in a duel of terrain Seven Springs wins. HV really needs to open the Outback area. I can see about 450 to 500 vertical over there. If there is a steep, sustain pitch on that face it should be developed.

Blue Knob needs to rebuild market share, they need to advertise in the DC and Pittsburgh markets and remind the core that they've got the goods to keep them interested. If they get more skiers dropping coin then they need to make more snow and be a little more careful with grooming to avoid turning up rocks. Perhaps they need to organize a friends group or enlist ski clubs and other volunteers to help with trail maintenance then set them loose to pick up rocks, prune glades and pick up dead trees and branches.
GRK
March 8, 2009
Member since 12/19/2007 🔗
404 posts
At Wintergreen...it would be nice if you could ski from Tyro or any of the Big Acorn trails down to the bottom of the Highlands. Bottom of Highlands is lower elevation than bottom of Big Acorn so it might be possible. Not sure if there is an intervening ridge line or creek that might screw it up.

GRK
snosnugums
March 8, 2009
Member since 04/10/2006 🔗
126 posts
The Buncher's invested alot of money in HV and I doubt that the return they are seeking is going to be happening any time soon. Look at what they've done"

- a new quad lift
- North summit ski lodge
- new maintenance building
- 80 new technoalpine snow makers
- a few miles of new welded steel snow making piping
- new pump station for snow making
- complete new roof and paint job for the ski lodge
- new snow grooming equipment
- new ski rental equipment
- several miles of sewer line along Route 31 and
new sewage pumping station in Bakersville
- Paved the parking lots and roadways at Hidden Valley
- new slope lighting
- new condos under construction at the Summit
- renovation of the Sports Center
- new chairs on the two triple lifts
- repainted all of the lift chairs, lift poles
- loading carpet at the North Summit and new Valley side lift
- revamped restuarants
- built a new building for the Bakersville Volunteer Fire and Rescue
- cleared the trees for the new Outback slopes
- installed a new magic carpet lift for the snow tubing area
- restored the golf course turf
- renovation of the Conference Center

Did I miss anything?

That is alot of investment that I would guess would be at least $10 - $15 million. I doubt they'll get much of a return on that... in the short term. They must look at the long term and the eventuall development of the 1,200 acres that they have to develop.
As far at the new Outback ski terrain, the 2009/2010 date for the completion of that was removed from all of the trail maps and signs around the resort. They also removed all of the 'future HV' renderings from the ski lodge.
We'll see what happens. I am a little concerned that they stopped making snow in early February and it looks like March is going be a bust for skiing. If you they aren't will to spend the money to give us snow for March skiing, they may be saying 'hey, we spent enough money' .
Edgar3
March 9, 2009
Member since 05/29/2007 🔗
149 posts
Yes, the list of improvements at HV have been impressive. Would agree that to see return on thier investment, they need to reach critical mass as a destination resort, which means opening the outback slopes and continuing with the plans for the new lodge/hotel and build up the attractiveness of the resort.

For all the good things they have done and $ invested, I think they are missing the mark on a few simple, relatively low cost things to make it a very attractive resort:

- Resturaunts and Food: Yes, they have revamped the resturaunts, but they do not seem to be well thought out, and you can't get a good meal there as far as I am concerned.
- Starting with the HV Cafe: Although it is OK, it is bland and institutional. Here you have a prime spot which would be great to hang out and relax and have some coffee or great sandwich. Why not some couches in a hip Starbucks or Caribu Coffee kind of atmosphere so you feel like you are at a resort rather than the concession in an office building?
- Move on to the Clock Tower: I did the buffet there and was disappointed at the usual pennsylvania food quality including "carved turkey" that was in fact "pressed turkey" Again, a prime spot to have a resturaunt that could be an attraction within itself, but even on a prime weekend was only 1/3 capacity. If anyone thinks there is no market for people who appreciate better food in the area, they need to go to the Out of the Fire Cafe which is booked solid in Donegal. Buncher should strike a deal with the chef who runs that place to get him to HV asap.
- North Slope Skier Services Bldg: While a huge improvement over the trailer, it reminds me more of a suburban bank than a resort building. Again, here is a prime visible spot that could be very cool and could help set the tone of the resort which needs some resort atmosphere. Is this the best Jack Johnson was able to come up with?
- Yukon: Looks like very little effort was put into it. Lacking the kind of soul that would make someone want to hang out.

Again, my applause to Buncher for what they have done so farm and these things are all easily addressable; For the cost of just one or 2 of those technoalpin guns and some imagination they could create much more of a resort atomosphere to make people want to come back again and again.
casey
March 9, 2009
Member since 11/21/2005 🔗
37 posts
I couldn't agree with Edgar more. Good food can make a name for a resort, and although they have improved the restaurants they need to do more.

I hope they open the outback for next year and I for one am willing to pay more for a pass if they get that done. I hope they will let the pass holders know what there plans are.

In a little over a year, they have made great strides in bringing HV back to life. Please, don't stop now.
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